6 Amazing Pumpkin Displays You Have to See to Believe
A good ol' fashioned trip to the pumpkin patch is a favorite fall activity, but a traditional pumpkin patch has nothing on these spectacular pumpkin displays. Each year, we marvel at these extravagant displays of pumpkins and lights. And if you're not ready to go back to large crowds or in-person events just yet, there are several outdoor and drive-through options you can visit this year.
You may consider pumpkin carving a fun activity for the kids rather than a medium for serious artistry, but these grand displays are sure to impress even the toughest critic. From highly detailed carving designs to huge moving structures, these pumpkin exhibitions are designed to bring communities together for some seasonal magic.
See our top picks to find a pumpkin festival near you. If you attend an outdoor event, be sure to bring along a mask (here are a few you can buy). And if you opt for a drive-through option, consider bringing along some tasty pumpkin-themed snacks for the drive!
The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze, Hudson Valley, NY
Skyscraping structures, bright lights, and a new spectacle around every corner make this pumpkin experience reminiscent of a trip to New York City. Sights to see include the pumpkin carousel, giant sea serpent, color-changing star show at the Pumpkin Planetarium, and a replica of Lady Liberty herself. But don’t miss out on the small details amid the large-scale spectacles—a team of artisans design and hand carve over 7,000 jack-o’-lanterns on-site for the display. While the event is outside, tickets are limited this year and all tickets must be reserved ahead of time. All the proceeds from The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze support the programs of Historic Hudson Valley, a non-profit education organization.
When to visit: September 17 - November 21, 2021
Autumn at the Arboretum, Dallas, TX
With the colorful Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden setting the scene, this pumpkin village uses all the elements of seasonal beauty. More than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash become elaborate houses and whimsical structures that seem to be pulled straight out of a fairy tale—because sometimes that’s exactly the inspiration. Each year debuts a new theme for the village, with past years including Cinderella, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Adventures in Neverland. Tickets for the Arboretum start at $12, and you'll need to reserve them in advance.
When to visit: September 18 - October 31, 2021
Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, RI
The view of the Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular is exactly that—spectacular. The Halloween display at the Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of our favorite ways to experience the holiday, and this year the event is back to a walk-through holiday scene after being drive-through only last year. Grab tickets ahead of time for an awe-inspiring stroll through thousands of illuminated pumpkins and professionally carved designs. Tickets are $14 for children and $17 for adults and can be purchased online.
When to visit: September 30 - October 31, 2021
Louisville Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular, Louisville, KY
This jack-o'-lantern display is like a Halloween-themed fairy tale—but not the Brothers Grimm version. The Jack-O’-Lantern Spectacular features more than 5,000 carved and illuminated pumpkins, so if you're in the Louisville area, head to the park at night for an enchanting experience. Tickets range from $12-20 depending on age and day of the week, and proceeds benefit the Louisville Parks Foundation.
When to visit: September 30 - October 31, 2021
Jack’s Pumpkin Glow, Denver, CO
The triangle-eyed, squiggle-smiled jack-o’-lanterns are a well-loved classic, but these pumpkin structures turn up the volume. Strategically designed, arranged, and hand-carved pumpkins transform into fire-breathing dragons, dueling dinosaurs, motorcycle-riding skeletons, and more. You’ll also find a pumpkin patch and live pumpkin-carving demonstrations at the event. Tickets range from $11-20 and must be purchased online before the event.
When to visit: October 1 - October 31, 2021
Keene Pumpkin Festival, Keene, NH
The quaint New England town of Keene is characterized by things like old-fashioned candy shops, a retro movie theater, and the world record for the most lit jack-o’-lanterns on display. In addition to the record-breaking display of over 30,000 pumpkins, the free Pumpkin Festival offers family fun in the way of music and dance performances, arts and crafts, and activities like pumpkin bowling. The event staff has canceled the 2021 event to keep the community safe, so check their website for up-to-date details on next year's event before making the trip to Keene.
When to visit: Tentatively scheduled for fall 2022